Plushie came off last week’s confinement Wednesday. Yay! Once again he can cuddle and colonize my lap desk.
We did get a check-up visit from the Durham PD, but it was cool, and they were satisfied we were following procedure. It feels good to have Plush Dog up on the sofa with me and Trixie again, though not so good to deal with the usual challenges (begging, climbing onto the computer, me not getting up to stretch because I have two dogs to maneuver around, etc.). But I’m still very happy Plush is free.
Happily, having him out didn’t slow down my work much. I wanted to write another 20,000 words on Southern Discomfort but I managed 26,000 counting this week’s contributions. My total wordage on all projects (not counting outlines, character sketches, etc.) was close to 40,000. So I feel pleased.
I think the draft is looking good, though I’m not sure I have Maria’s voice right. I’ve been influenced by her family background — Brooklyn, Italian, working class — but she’s a nurse so she’s had some education, she’s been in the Army, she’s been on the run for two years, and I don’t think I’ll capture all of that. I’m going to start polishing up the draft next month (while adding another 20,000 words), with one of the goals being to get her voice right. My goal is to have this out to my beta readers in the writing group by September for a critique session/dinner (that’s how we roll) in October. It’s doable, with the caveat that once I get the galleys for Now and Then We Time Travel, that trumps all other projects. Normally I’d wait until it was much further along, but there are things about this I want feedback on early: how I handle the black characters, and whether my ensemble approach—it’s as much about Pharisee County as a whole as Maria and Olwen—works or just bores them with side trips of the main path.I managed to rewrite It’s Never Jam Today and it’s doing much better, but it definitely needs a better ending. I’m not sure if I need to shape the earlier parts to generate ending or if it’s one of those cases that I have to get the ending to see where the early parts should be going. My new draft of Making a Famine Where Abundance Lies is much closer to what I want, now that I have a character whose struggles I can focus on (unfortunately for Hannah, she’ll probably lose).
Thursday I tried something I’ve wanted to do for a while. TYG was out with friends, so I took part of the afternoon off and resumed work in the evening. I think the approach has promise—I really enjoyed my afternoon break—but my evening focus wasn’t as strong as I’d expected. That’s partly because I didn’t mark off when I was on and when I was off very clearly, and partly because I was thinking rather than writing, which is often frustrating. I need to rework the mae protagonist of an older rough-draft (title: Good Morning Starshine) and I can’t quite nail down what the change is I need. I think it’s doable, but it may take a while. Plus the dogs are just livelier in the evening. Afternoons are when they’re most torpid. So there’s that to factor in when I try this again.
Still a productive week. So huzzah.